WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King Thursday announced that Maine will receive an additional $5,411,630 in funding through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) following the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) decision to release an additional $453 million to states.
“This additional funding is welcome news as Mainers continue to cope with record-setting cold and rising heating costs,” said Senator Collins, who, along with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), successfully led the bipartisan effort to increase funding for LIHEAP by $169 million between FY 2013 and FY 2014 as part of the bipartisan 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which Senator Collins supported and the President signed into law earlier this month. “The LIHEAP programs assists some 8 million households nationwide; nearly 50,000 in Maine. LIHEAP remains an important lifeline that helps prevent seniors and low-income families from having to choose between heating their home, paying their bills, or going without food or medicine, and I am pleased that the Administration has responded to our request to quickly distribute these remaining benefits.”
“Many low-income Mainers are struggling to stay warm through this year’s bitterly and particularly cold winter temperatures,” said Senator King, who also supported the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act. “No one should be confronted with the stark choice of having to either pay the heating bill or provide for basic necessities like food and prescription drugs. I am pleased the Administration has released these funds, which will certainly be a relief to those who desperately need them.”
In November, HHS released $2.93 billion in LIHEAP funding nationwide as part of the continuing resolution (CR) that kept the government operating. The Consolidated Appropriations law includes a total of $3.425 billion for LIHEAP.